06 May 2010

Meet the New Boss....

In my recent post about the Manville - Somerville football game, I said that at that time - 1958 - Manville High School was "nearly new".  In fact, between the time of Manville's secession from Hillsborough in 1929 and the construction of the High School in the mid 50s, only one school building, the Roosevelt School, had been built in the boro.  And that school was built in that first year of 1929!

In 1954, twenty-five years after Manville's incorporation, the school board began to pitch the idea of building a high school in town.  In those 25 years, Manville's population grew from 5,441 to 9,375, and more importantly, the number of school children increased dramatically.  In just the years from 1943 to 1954, enrollment went from 793 to 1,293 - and was expected to go to 1,800 pupils by 1961.

The Manville Board of Education produced a booklet with all of this information, and the arguments in favor of building a high school - you can see it here

What is most amazing to me about the 1954 publication is what it says about the conditions school children in Manville were subjected to, including teaching some classes in basements and other sub-standard rooms, perpetual split sessions for students, and even twelve classes being taught on a "half-time basis" - meaning the students were not even getting the required amount of time in school.  All of this in addition to the fact that Manville's teenagers were forced to attend three different area high schools, because no single school could accommodate the 375 students.

In essence, all of the things Manville complained to Hillsborough about in the 1920s, were still being perpetuated a quarter-century later!

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